Wales to hold contract talks with Gatland
September 13, 2013
Warren Gatland masterminded the Lions' victory in the summer © Getty Images
Wales Rugby Union chief Roger Lewis will begin contract talks with Warren Gatland next week in a bid to tie the Kiwi down beyond the end of his current deal.
Gatland led the British & Irish Lions to their first series win since 1997 in the summer and is favourite to coach the tourists again in four years time when they travel to New Zealand. For Wales, Gatland has delivered back-to-back Six Nations triumphs and has helped bring through some of the country's premier talent.
With the World Cup just two years away, Gatland's deal expires in 2015 and Lewis is keen to start talks to extend that contract sooner rather than later.
"We've started talking. We have to start that planning for the national team now," Lewis told the BBC. "We had a great night on the Sunday after that third Lions Test in Sydney… we're going away [this week] just the two of us, take some time off-site, and then we'll have a better idea of what's happening post-2015."
Gatland has been linked with the All Blacks post in the past but Lewis is keen to retain an individual who he believes can help the long-term growth of the Welsh side.
"At this level of the game, it's not one year, two years or three years [of planning]," Lewis added. "We run a five-year cycle and that's the attitude we've brought into the game here in Wales, and that's the conversation we'll have.
"It's got to be what's right for Warren and his life, and his family. The other bits, in terms of the career, slot in. [The discussions with Gatland] will be over a beer. I'll ask him, 'How do you feel? What do you think about the future?' And that will take as long as it takes."
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